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Volume 16, issue 14
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 9255–9272, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-9255-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 9255–9272, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-9255-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 28 Jul 2016

Research article | 28 Jul 2016

Theoretical investigation of mixing in warm clouds – Part 2: Homogeneous mixing

Mark Pinsky1, Alexander Khain1, Alexei Korolev2, and Leehi Magaritz-Ronen1 Mark Pinsky et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 2Environment Canada, Cloud Physics and Severe Weather Section, Toronto, Canada

Abstract. Evolution of monodisperse and polydisperse droplet size distributions (DSD) during homogeneous mixing is analyzed. Time-dependent universal analytical expressions for supersaturation and liquid water content are derived. For an initial monodisperse DSD, these quantities are shown to depend on a sole non-dimensional parameter. The evolution of moments and moment-related functions in the course of homogeneous evaporation of polydisperse DSD is analyzed using a parcel model.

It is shown that the classic conceptual scheme, according to which homogeneous mixing leads to a decrease in droplet mass at constant droplet concentration, is valid only in cases of monodisperse or initially very narrow polydisperse DSD. In cases of wide polydisperse DSD, mixing and successive evaporation lead to a decrease of both mass and concentration, so the characteristic droplet sizes remain nearly constant. As this feature is typically associated with inhomogeneous mixing, we conclude that in cases of an initially wide DSD at cloud top, homogeneous mixing is nearly indistinguishable from inhomogeneous mixing.

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Short summary
The evolution of monodisperse and polydisperse droplet size distributions (DSDs) during homogeneous mixing is analyzed. It is shown that the classic conceptual scheme, according to which homogeneous mixing leads to a decrease in the droplet mass under constant droplet concentration, is valid only in cases of initially very narrow DSDs. In cases of wide DSDs a decrease of both mass and concentration take place such that the characteristic droplet sizes remain nearly constant.
The evolution of monodisperse and polydisperse droplet size distributions (DSDs) during ...
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